Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard merges comfort and style

Part and parcel of the Surface brand is the hip, urban styling that comes with the devices. Something like an old Model M would look positively gauche underneath a gorgeous machine like the newly-announced Surface Studio. Fans of ergonomic keyboards usually don't get a lot of choice when it comes to style, but Microsoft's new Surface Ergonomic Keyboard lets typists have the best of both worlds.

The new keyboard is a slim, low-profile design that comes exclusively in a very neutral grey-on-grey aesthetic. The palm-rest at the front of the Surface Ergonomic is coated in Microsoft's customized version of Alcantara synthetic suede. Bluetooth is the only connectivity option, and Microsoft's product page says the keyboard requires Windows 10. We'd wager it'll probably connect to any Bluetooth device, though.

Microsoft doesn't say what kind of switches the keyboard uses, but it does guarantee they can withstand 10 million actuations per key for the main typing block. The hotkeys—settings, backlight controls, search, calulator, and multimedia keys—are guaranteed for 500,000 actuations each. Conveniently, the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard takes AAA batteries rather than having an internal battery that will wear out. Microsoft claims the batteries will last "up to 12 months."

The Surface Ergonomic Keyboard is already up for pre-order on Microsoft's store for $129. Buyers should get their keyboards on November 10.

Comments closed
    • dyrdak
    • 3 years ago

    more gray s….tuff from MS. Comfort or just style over function?

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve given up on a decent ergonomic keyboard and just abandoned the ergonomics in favour of a good mechanical with Cherry MX Browns.

    For years I hung onto the [url=https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41TOc8nO2TL.jpg<]MS Natural Elite[/url<], and I still use a [url=http://compass.microsoft.com/assets/b1/12/b112ddfc-0541-4948-a804-a7268b0cc2a7.jpg?n=mk_nek4000v2_large.jpg<]MSNK 4000[/url<] at work, but the decreasing quality of Microsoft's membrane keyboards over the years means that any ergonomic benefits from the layout are ruined by the heavy, dull and lifeless key travel that requires bottoming-out for every keypress. This new Burberry Edition Surface Ergo Keyboard would be decent if it had a wired option, but ignoring the wireless, Bluetooth just isn't quick enough for anything other than typing.

    • JAKra85
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve seen this keyboard when installing Windows 95. 🙂
    [url<]https://winworldpc.com/res/img/screenshots/osr-2-a8b230b50899710eab469ab8e7ec1d2f-install4.png[/url<]

    • Mad_Dane
    • 3 years ago

    A keyboard with fabric on? WTF have they been smoking, a keyboard is one of the most bacterial infected objects in our home, another case of braindead designers not thinking about cleaning the product!

      • Anovoca
      • 3 years ago

      Unless you are typing with open wounds on your fingers the idea of obsessing over bacteria on your keyboard is silly. No-one has ever fallen ill because of too much bacteria on his/her skin. If you get e-coli poisoning from a keyboard, chances are that you have far worse holes in your hygiene than a strip of suede fabric.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 3 years ago

        I’m visualizing sweat stains, grease, rubbed-off skin. Imagine what it would look like under a microscope. 🙂

        • Mad_Dane
        • 3 years ago

        It’s not about getting a disease, it’s about grime from your hands getting stuck in the fabric, sweat, some grease from your potato chips or whatever you consume around your keyboard, how will you clean this shizzle? Send it to the drycleaner or what?

        A keyboard should be very easy to clean, a subject most companies are totally oblivious about! Unless you don’t use it, it will 100% need a cleaning once in a while!

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      The fabric Surface keyboard covers seem to hold up just fine.

        • Mad_Dane
        • 3 years ago

        Yes but you rest your wrist on that all day while typing away, grime and oil from fingers can ruin a lot of things!

          • tipoo
          • 3 years ago

          I should think palms would still get a fair bit of skin oil (ew) in there…If the corrosion from human skin oil was a factor, we’d probably hear reports of it from the Surfaces by now.

      • ptsant
      • 3 years ago

      This is probably similar to leather and can/should be resistant to cleaning.

    • CScottG
    • 3 years ago

    Made in ..Jersey?

    • davidbowser
    • 3 years ago

    Suede?!? Pfft

    Navy blue velour or no deal.

    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    the Arc Ergonomic Keyboard they released looked a whole lot better.

    • sweatshopking
    • 3 years ago

    ugly and too expensive. don’t buy.

      • thedosbox
      • 3 years ago

      You should stop talking about yourself like that. Someone will eventually love you.

        • sweatshopking
        • 3 years ago

        Hey, I’ve got my 13th anniversary next week!

        • BurntMyBacon
        • 3 years ago

        That was clever … Or … You know … Not.

        [quote=”thedosbox”<]You should stop talking about yourself like that. Someone will eventually love you.[/quote<]

      • BurntMyBacon
      • 3 years ago

      It certainly isn’t my brand of vodka, but someone might like it.

    • Wirko
    • 3 years ago

    Whoever managed to convince people that flat keycaps are ergonomic … I wish him a long life and a slow death.

      • Voldenuit
      • 3 years ago

      Too late. It was Steve Jobs.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 3 years ago

        Long live “industrial design”!

        • Wirko
        • 3 years ago

        Then I wish him karma.

        But seriously, while it’s tempting to put all the blame on one man, he certainly didn’t force the whole industry to follow him. Others discovered independently that they can make notebooks many tenths of a millimeter thinner if the keys are flat. They just lacked the thing that we now call *courage* … until Jobs did it.

      • GrimDanfango
      • 3 years ago

      I don’t think anyone would ordinarily claim they’re more ergonomic… it’s all about the clean aesthetic. I think the two are pretty often completely mutually exclusive – I defy anyone to make a vertical-mouse look cool for example, so the vast majority avoid going that route, despite it being demonstrably massively better for long-term use.

      For some reason though, Microsoft appear to have missed the memo, and are attempting to cover both bases with a single device. Something’s gotta give.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 3 years ago

    With no RGB LEDs it’s really hard to judge its capabilities.

      • BurntMyBacon
      • 3 years ago

      It clearly has no “Gamer DNA”.

    • Voldenuit
    • 3 years ago

    Surface Keyboard: Jeggings Edition.

    • Horshu
    • 3 years ago

    I love the previous Sculpt ergo. Short key throw, small footprint, magnets in the right places, plus the gap between halves makes it easy to carry with one hand. I don’t like a lot about this keyboard in comparison (the color, the size, the PRICE), but if it types well, I’ll get one, as I’ve had every MS ergo/natural keyboard since v1.

      • zalbard
      • 3 years ago

      Why not keep using Sculpt Ergo, then?

        • Horshu
        • 3 years ago

        I keep 2 of each, one for work and one for home, so I will still have a Sculpt. But also, I like the idea of an alcantara wrist rest…and my home Sculpt has some sticky keys that aren’t reassembling properly…and maybe the new keyboard has a better feel (I had a tough time moving to the Sculpt because I loved the previous key throw & I didn’t want a wireless kb)…and I like spending my money on things I want rather what other people think I should want.

          • BurntMyBacon
          • 3 years ago

          We could all learn something from you:
          [quote=”Horshu”<]...and I like spending my money on things I want rather what other people think I should want.[/quote<]

            • Chrispy_
            • 3 years ago

            I want a magic lamp and a unicorn.

    • Platedslicer
    • 3 years ago

    Holy shit, I got more of a kick from learning that they still make buckling spring keyboards than from the surface thing.

    • Airmantharp
    • 3 years ago

    Be nice if those chiclet-looking keys have scissor-style switches under them. If it feels nice, I can see Microsoft moving quite a few units, despite the fairly high price (or is it?).

      • DPete27
      • 3 years ago

      Judging by the Surface lineup being a premium branding and the price of this compared to the MS Sculpt, I think they’d be scissor switches.

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      Assuming they use the same switches as in the previous Ergo, yes (I’m typing on one).

      • thedosbox
      • 3 years ago

      Yeah, it’s a shame there aren’t more keyboards using scissor-style switches available.

    • Mentawl
    • 3 years ago

    It even *looks* like the keys are a bit mushy :/

    • zalbard
    • 3 years ago

    Seems rather expensive for a non-mechanical keyboard.

      • rechicero
      • 3 years ago

      I would gladly pay that for a non-mechanical reboot of the awesome Office keyboard. Still using mine (althought the alt key makes strange things and the cut-copy-paste keys stop working properly some time ago… not because of the switch, but the board).

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    Needs a more exciting color scheme.

    I vote beige, a truly innovative color.

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      It seems to be working well, going by the absurd amount of gray-on-gray UIs and text everywhere.

      • demani
      • 3 years ago

      That would take a whole lot of courage.

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